I was working with a teacher several weeks ago on various math strategies when an idea struck me. I was talking about the coordinate-graph vocabulary strategy that my colleague Laura Zoromski created (and I blogged about in an earlier post) because his students were struggling with vocabulary.  I mentioned word walls to him and he indicated that he used them.  That was when the idea hit – add an additional component to the wall.  If a student proves that he/she not only knows the definition of a word, but can use it and explain it to others, put their name under the word on the word wall.  That way, if a student has a question about that word, they know that they can ask the teacher or one of the students listed there.  It would also provide a way to see what words most of your students truly own and those you need to reinforce.  I think if you paired it with the coordinate-graph strategy, students will become much for effective in self-evaluating their level of knowledge – which is the direction I think we need to be heading.

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